Nyck de Vries reveals Max Verstappen’s role in landing his F1 seat for the 2023 season

Nyck de Vries hailed Max Verstappen’s role as big brother in landing his fellow Dutchman a seat in Formula One.

The 27-year-old was announced ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix as a driver for AlphaTauri from next season having impressed while racing for Williams as a stand-in driver earlier this year.

Now he has a permanent seat, replacing Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly, de Vries as achieved his goal of reaching F1.

He credited compatriot and close friend Verstappen with helping him make the breakthrough, having previously won titles in Formula 2 and Formula E.

"Max and I have a great relationship," he said.

"Obviously, we are from a similar era, he is a little bit younger than me but we grew up in karting, we are both Dutch and the way he was approaching racing with his father, driving around in a van though Europe, I think was very much like ours.

"We live to for the sport and we respect each other a lot as drivers, although he is a world champion, and the best in our sport at the moment I'm there.

"Even though he's a little bit younger, it almost felt like he has acted as my older brother, we had dinner after the Monza event together in Monaco and we talked about the possibilities and opportunities.

"That resulted in having a conversation with Dr Helmut Marco (motorsport advisor to Red Bull), we met that same week in Austria.

"I've always listened to people around me and knowledge is very important in this industry and I think sometimes you see people holding that cause very close to the chest.

"But if you don't give you don't get and it's important to share information to know what's going on. and that was very much that kind of conversation."

De Vries showed his racing pedigree while karting alongside the likes of George Russell, Carlos Sainz, Alex Albon and Gasly.

But, while his peers were already making the grade in F1, de Vries was taking a different path - admitting he had thought his chance may have passed him by.

"I will admit that there were certain times in my career that I thought it was very unlikely for me to still get a chance (in F1)," he said.

"Especially when I won Formula 2 and moved into a different direction in Formula E.

"It was not a kind of a common path towards Formula One but somehow I always kept the kind of foot in the door and I think what really defines my career is that I've always taken every opportunity that came my way and came down my path."

Learning from experience

Now, though, de Vries can call upon his past experiences and believes he will enter F1 better prepared than if he had landed a seat as a younger driver.

"Of course I'm still lacking a little bit of Formula One experience," he added.

"There are quite a lot of tracks on the calendar which are still unknown for me but in terms of the maturity and overall racing experience, I have gained a lot.

"All the racing I have been doing in the last years, in endurance and in Formula E, have prepared me in the best possible way in every area.

"In every other sport you practice your sport every day, in racing you don't. It is quite limited so I was always in the favour to race and I think that has definitely prepared me, as much as I can be, for what is coming."

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